UAE Economy Minister leads delegation to India – News

The visit, from May 11-15, is significant as the two countries implemented the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) on May 1

Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy of the United Arab Emirates.

Published: Mon 9 May 2022, 5:35 PM

Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, economy minister of the United Arab Emirates, will lead a high-level business delegation to India this week to discuss ways to further promote trade and investment between the two countries, an official said.

The visit, from May 11-15, is significant as the two countries implemented the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) on May 1.

The Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises of the United Arab Emirates, Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises is also part of the delegation.

“It will be an important visit because we have implemented the free trade pact,” the official said. Cepa is expected to grow two-way trade to $100 billion over the next five years from $60 billion currently.

The agreement, which entered into force on May 1, will help India, a traditional trading partner of the United Arab Emirates, succeed in further promoting “Make in India; “Market to the World” and encourage in-country jewelry OEM manufacturing for global brands, in addition to boosting jewelry exports, creating job opportunities and skills development in the country, Ahmad said.

On May 3, India’s first shipment of jewelry to the UAE under CEPA was received by heads of private sector gold mining companies. The three-package consignment contained around $1 million worth of gems and jewellery, according to Sanjay Sudhi, India’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.

The first shipment was reported by BVR Commerce Secretary Subrahmanyam of New Delhi at zero duty. Prior to the implementation of CEPA, traders had to pay a 5% duty on imports.

According to Subramanyam, India imports 800 tons of gold every year. In accordance with CEPA, India granted the UAE a TRQ rate of 200 tonnes. The perpetual rate will be 1.0% less than the rate charged from the rest of the world or on a most favored nation basis.

“India gains duty-free access to the UAE market on gemstones and jewellery. The 5% tariff on Indian jewelery is now zero, and the gemstone and jewelery sector is at its wits end. This will entice international jewelers who run their business from Singapore and Hong Kong to move to India,” the Indian official said.

Colin Shah, Chairman of the Gems & Jewelery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), said Cepa with the UAE will help boost India’s jewelry exports to the Gulf region. “This is an important milestone in realizing the Prime Minister’s vision of making India a $5 trillion economy by 2025.”

Under the trade agreement, domestic exporters in various other sectors like textiles, agriculture and dried fruits enjoy duty-free access to the UAE market. The delegation will travel to Delhi and Mumbai and hold talks with industry leaders.

The nearly 70-member delegation represents different sectors such as food, special economic zones, sovereign wealth funds and civil aviation. The United Arab Emirates is one of India’s major trading partners and the country is a gateway to the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

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